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Ten Things You May Not Know About The Rolling Stones
This year, the Rolling Stones celebrate their 50th birthday. Yesterday, Mick Jagger turned 69 – but he doesn’t show any signs of slowing down in his “golden” years.
We wanted to celebrate all things Stones with some fun facts from throughout their iconic career. What follows is Ten Things You May Not Know about the Rolling Stones. Enjoy!
1. The Stones created a pseudonym to refer to them as a whole.
As far as songwriting credits are concerned, whenever a song was composed by the entire band equally, it was credited in album liner notes to “Nanker Phelge”. This name was used primarily between 1963-1965.
2. A young Angelina Jolie stars in one of their music videos.
Perhaps this one is obvious to devout Stones fans, but to casual enthusiasts it may prove interesting: the music video for the single Anybody Seen My Baby?, from 1997’s Bridges to Babylon, features Angelina Jolie in the starring role. Portraying an exotic dancer in NYC, this was one of Jolie’s first acting gigs before hitting it big in Hollywood.
3. For one of their biggest hits, Mick Jagger wrote all the lyrics except the hook.
(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction concerned what Mick called the two sides of North America – the phony and the real. He wrote all of the song’s lyrics except the refrain, I can’t get no satisfaction – ironic considering all the other words came so easily! (source)
4. It took the Stones a long time to play Can’t You Hear Me Knocking? live.
According to legend, the Stones didn’t play the 7-minute jam Can’t You Hear Me Knocking?, from 1971’s Sticky Fingers, until 2002’s Licks Tour – more than three decades after its release. (source)
5. Sympathy for the Devil is considered to be the “sound of Guns N’ Roses breaking up”.
GN’R covered the Beggars Banquet song for the 1994 film Interview with a Vampire, but guitarist Slash has stated that recording the song caused him to jump ship – because of an “incident” within the band that took place as a result. (source)
6. Keith Richards almost burned down the Playboy Mansion.
Among the many legends surrounding the ageless guitarist, Keith is said to have “almost” reduced the Playboy Mansion to a burning pile of rubble, after he and saxophonist Bobby Keys accidentally set fire to a bathroom. Richards mentions this event in his memoir. (source)
7. The female vocalist in Gimme Shelter recorded her own version of the song.
Gospel singer Merry Clayton provided the background vocals in Gimme Shelter. A year after the Stones’ version was released, she recorded and released her own R&B flavored version, which made it to the Billboard charts. (source)
8. Only one Stones ballad has reached the top spot on the Billboard charts.
Despite releasing a handful over the course of their career, only 1971’s Angie hit the #1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States.
9. As of 2006, a large number of Stones songs haven’t yet been played live.
Perhaps representative of the fact that the Stones have released numerous studio albums, more than 140 songs are believed to have never made an appearance at a live gig – at least according to a dedicated fan site. (source)
10. Only one of their albums failed to chart within the Top 5 in the U.K.
Out of their many studio records, only 1997’s Bridges to Babylon debuted on the U.K. album charts outside the top 5. It charted (and peaked) at #6. (source)
The Stones have become rock royalty, and with good reason – they’ve been a mainstay of the music world for 50 years. Feel free to celebrate the Stones' 50thand Mick’s 69th by suggesting other facts that didn’t make our list!